National: Study points to potential vulnerability in online voter registration systems | Harvard Gazette

For as little as a few thousand dollars, online attackers can purchase enough personal information to perhaps alter voter registration information in as many as 35 states and the District of Columbia, according to a new Harvard study. Dubbed “voter identity theft” by study authors Latanya Sweeney, professor of government and technology in residence, research analyst Ji Su Yoo, and graduate student Jinyan Zang, the vulnerability could be exploited by internet attackers attempting to disenfranchise many voters where registration information can be changed online. Armed with personal information obtained through legitimate or illegitimate sources, hackers could learn enough to impersonate voters and change key information using the online registration systems. One tactic, researchers said, would be to simply change voters’ addresses, making it appear — to poll workers at least — as though they were voting at the wrong locations. Those voters might be forced to cast provisional ballots, which in many circumstances are not counted. The study is described in a Sept. 6 paper published in the Journal of Technology Science.

Full Article: Study points to potential vulnerability in online voter registration systems | Harvard Gazette.

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